Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Hi friends! Today I am sharing one of my all time favorite recipes – Buffalo Chicken Burgers. This recipe is easy and can be made right in your kitchen; no BBQ grill needed. In fact, I think this recipe actually comes out better on the stove top than the grill. The consistency of a chicken burger is a bit different than a beef burger which makes it prone to falling apart on the grill. These Buffalo Chicken Burgers come out perfect every time and I seriously can’t get enough of them. They’re melt in your mouth good!

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When I make these burgers, I love to use a cast iron skillet or grill pan on my stove top. A few months ago I got a new Le Creuset Skillet from QVC. I have had a Le Creuset Dutch oven for a few years which I absolutely love. This brand is really well made and I think I will have these pieces forever. What I love about my new Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet Grill is the shape. If you’re like me and have a 5-burner stove with the awkward oval burner in the middle, this skillet is a perfect fit. Now that I have an oval skillet that properly fits over this burner, it heats evenly which makes for a much better dish. This skillet can fit two good size burgers at a time (perfect for date night at home) and it gives burgers great grill marks. I realize Le Creuset items are a bit pricey. When you purchase through QVC you have the option to break your payments up into multiple “Easy Pay” payments which may make these splurge items a bit more manageable. I have the Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet Grill in the color Coastal Blue.

Right now you can get a similar Le Creuset grill pan (I do not have this one) on sale at William Sonoma for $99 and free shipping. If you’re not in the market for a Le Creuset Skillet Grill that is okay. You can use a traditional cast iron skillet (like this one) for this recipe too. A cast iron skillet is a cookware staple. I get so much use out of mine and it’s under $30!

The Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 – 1/2c plain gluten-free panko bread crumbs (depends on how wet your mixture turns out)
  • 1/4c finely chopped carrot, celery and yellow or white onion (tip: use the food processor)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Buffalo style hot sauce (1 tbsp/burger)
  • EVOO to prep the skillet
  • Optional: Blue cheese dressing, mixed greens & a warm gluten-free bun to finish your burger

The Directions:

  • In a large bowl, add the egg, carrots, celery, onions and dry seasonings to the ground chicken.
  • Start combining the ingredients by hand while gradually adding in the panko. You may need more or less depending on how much fat is in your ground chicken and/or water in the veggies. The burgers will be on the wet side, but should still form patties that you can easily transfer to your skillet. Avoid drying up this mixture with too much panko which will cause the burgers to dry out when they’re cooking.
  • Using the combine mixture, divide the chicken into four equal burger patties.
  • Pre-heat your grill over medium heat then lightly brush with olive oil.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Brown each size of the burgers for about 4 minutes. You will know the burgers are ready to flip when they easily lift from the skillet with a rubber spatula. They will also have grill marks or be nicely browned from your pan.
  • Transfer the skillet into the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Use a thermometer to be sure they’re cooked fully.
  • At this point, don’t forget to toast your buns if they’re frozen or if that’s how you prefer them.
  • Carefully remove from the oven and drizzle 1 tbsp of Buffalo hot sauce over each burger then place the burgers and skillet back into the oven under the broiler on low for 3 minutes.
  • Again, carefully remove the skillet from the oven transfer your burgers to your favorite buns, top with blue cheese dressing and mixed green. Enjoy!
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Gluten Free French Onion Soup

One of my all time favorite soups is French Onion soup. I remember the last time I had it before going gluten-free years ago. Since then I have longed to enjoy this delicious soup again, but I have never found it on a gluten-free menu. This summer, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make it myself. It is a fairly easy soup to make, but it is very time consuming. I decided to make it again recently and I loved how this recipe turned out. Thankfully, I wrote everything down while I was cooking in hopes of sharing it all with you here. Please note this site and this post include affiliate links.

I made this soup using my 8.5qt stainless steel Calphalon Dutch oven. I don’t think my exact one is available anymore, but found two similar pots (click here and here). If you don’t have this exact style pot, you will just want to use a well-made, large, heavy pot that heats evenly; I believe this helps with the caramelization. The Le Creuset Dutch oven or something similar would also work well. To serve this soup, I ordered soup crocks and soup spoons to make sure we got the “real” French onion soup feel. When we traveled to Ireland a few years ago, I had the most delicious soups throughout our trip and they were always served with the best soup spoons. Having these spoons at home now reminds me of our time in Ireland.

I hope you try and enjoy this recipe!

The Ingredients:

Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 2 hours Servings: About 8

  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) of unsalted butter
  • 6lbs of yellow onions, sliced into half moons
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.5 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 large cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1.5 c red wine (I used a red blend)
  • 32oz low sodium beef stock
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 4-8oz Gruyere cheese thinly sliced or grated
  • 1 Gluten Free Baguette 

The Directions:

  • Slice the onions into half-moon shape and set aside in a large bowl.
  • Melt butter over medium/low heat then add the onions and stir to coat the onions into the melted butter.
  • Over medium/low heat, regularly stir the onions and bay leaf. You will need to keep an eye on the pot to make sure the onions do not stick. For this amount of onions, the caramelization process can take up to 1.5 hrs
  • Once the onions start to darken (about 30 minutes) add the dark brown sugar which will help with caramelizing the onions.
  • When the onions are close to fully caramelized (about 1.25 hrs), add black pepper, thyme and fresh garlic then stir.
  • When the onions have a dark, rich color and are fully caramelized add red wine to deglaze. Let the alcohol cook out and reduce the liquid for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the beef stock and 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar which will help to balance out the sweetness of the onions and sugar. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.
  • While you soup simmers, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Taste your soup. If it’s still too sweet, gradually add another tbsp of vinegar and season with salt to taste.
  • Slice your baguette (or brea of your choice), drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven.
  • Spoon your soup into the crocks, add toasted bread and top with gruyere cheese.
  • Place the crocks on a baking sheet and broil on high about about 5 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and slightly charred.
  • Top with a sprinkle of dried (or fresh) thyme and serve.

Cooking Notes:

  • This soup is heavier on the onions than it is on the stock. If you prefer you soup to have more broth, you can add some while cooking, but you may have to adjust the seasonings to maintain the flavor.
  • When I reheated this soup, I added a little extra stock each time.

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How to Pack for Italy in December

Hi friends! Today I am changing up my usual gluten-free-food focused travel blogs to give you tips on packing for Italy in December. I wrote this post prior to the start of the COVID-19 quarantine, but didn’t get around to posting it. Although I am not sure when traveling will become a normal part of life again, I thought I would share this post with you all to save for one day in the future. This was a trip of a lifetime with our best friends. I am definitely looking forward to the day when we can safety travel again!

This blog post contains affiliate links. For each purchase made through these links, I may make a small commission.

Prior to our trip, packing for Europe during the winter seemed like a daunting task. I think I did a pretty good job, so I thought it would be helpful to share my top packing tips with you. For most of our trip the weather was in the 40s-50s. There were a few days with very chilly mornings and/or evenings, but for the most part I was pretty comfortable. Speaking of comfort, with the amount of walking we did in Italy, I am happy I prioritized comfort over fashion when it comes to shoes. Achy, cold feet are not what I wanted for this trip. When it comes to clothing and jackets, I recommend planning to dress in layers. It’s also okay to re-wear outfits on your trip. If you’re traveling during the winter months, you will most likely have a coat on most of the days anyway. Another great way to get more wear out of what you pack is to stick with one color scheme {similar idea to wardrobe capsules}. I packed my go-to colors, black, beige, grey and a few piece of army green. This approach allowed me to mix and match tops with bottoms and also narrow down my shoe selection.

I LOVE the Columbia jacket I bought for this trip. I brought a JCrew Factory wool coat (similar coat here) as well, but consistently reached for my Columbia jacket. It’s light weight, warm and waterproof. I think the length is perfect and it has a great hood. It is also a bit longer in the back which I really like. I have used it a ton since we got home for our trip too. It was probably my best Black Friday purchases of 2019.

This outfit was pretty much my travel uniform for trip

Another great purchase that has gotten a ton of use are my Keds Scout boots. I wanted to make sure I had waterproof shoes for this trip, so these were a great find. I usually wear size 8 or 8.5. For these boots I went with the size 8. Originally I planned to wear foam inserts (click here) in the boots for extra comfort, but they didn’t fit well. Thankfully these shoes only took a day to break-in then were very comfortable. I should also mention that these boots are a little though to get on and off. If you have a high arch, I definitely recommend sizing up. I also can’t rave enough about my Adidas sneakers; I think they’re a must have. I wore my tan/white pair all over Italy and my feet never hurt. I think the sizing of these sneakers varies a bit between colors. I have a size 8 in the tan/white and 8.5 in the grey/white. On this trip I definitely learned the importance of good socks. Make sure your socks don’t move or slip around inside your shoes. If they do, your socks can actually be the reason to blame for blisters. In a photo below you can see all of the shoes I packed for this trip. I did not need this many; my keds, 1 pair of sneakers and slippers were really all I needed. I did not wear my black flats, suede booties or need a second pair of sneakers. For most of our trip I also wore my Quay Australia Aviators (click here).

Quay Sunglasses

For handbags and luggage, I kept it very simple for this trip. A great piece of advice a friend gave us while planning was to only bring once piece of luggage. Since we weren’t using a tour for our trip {tours usually transport, move and watch after your luggage} that meant we would need to travel across three cities with our bags. Our travels included walking through each city with our luggage, taking the train and getting through airports. This tip was a home run. Each of us had one check-on luggage and a backpack – that’s it. Limited bags made our travels much easier. The check-on luggage I used for this trip was 28 inches (good options: here or here). Packing cubes (click here) are a game changer. They helped me to keep my bag organized and neat the entire trip. I also fit a ton of stuff too. I also found a great cosmetic bag (click here) that fit a ton of toiletries. As far as handbags go, I brought a thin, light weight crossbody bag with me. It was thin enough that I could wear it under my jacket. Having my bag concealed made me feel more secure in crowed areas. My exact bags are out of stock, but this is a similar style (click here).

I think there are a few things you can bring on your trip that will make your plane ride more comfortable. A cozy blanket scarf (click here or similar here) or small light weight blanket are great for keeping you warm and snuggling up a nap sans plane freebies. Although of flights did have in-flight entertainment, I love to have a few good books on a trip. Lately I have been loving the suspenseful thrillers by Shari Lapena and A.J. Finn. Both writers created story lines that are total page turners which help the flight fly by. I am the worst when it comes to drinking water, but I know that hydration and removing your make are extra important for your skin when flying. For our flight to Italy, I decided to bring all of my skincare (click here for that blog) and makeup remover wipes. Before takeoff, I removed all of my makeup and applied a heavy moisturizer.

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